Soon-to-Launch New Disney+ Expansion Star Is Basically Hulu for Viewers Down Under
It'll feature an extra 1000 titles — including 35 brand new series — in its first year.
When Disney+ made its way into the world back in 2019, it gave viewers — including folks in Australia and New Zealand — access to a huge range of Disney, Marvel, Pixar, Star Wars and National Geographic movies and shows. What it didn't do is bring Hulu, which the Mouse House owns the majority stake in, to audiences Down Under. And, with Disney+ focused on family-friendly fare, it didn't deliver the kinds of series and films that Hulu screens, either.
Hulu still isn't heading our way. But, come early 2021, Disney+ is expanding to include a new section that's basically an international equivalent of Hulu. It's called Star, it'll launch on Tuesday, February 23, and it'll screen "an additional 1000 unique titles under the new Star brand in the first year", according to the announcement at Disney's big 2020 Investor Day on Friday, December 11. It's also set to premiere 35 brand new series in 2021, too.
Disney hasn't listed exactly what Australia and New Zealand audiences will be able to watch via Star — but it did reveal that Star will feature "a robust collection of general entertainment movies, television, documentaries, and more, along
with Star-branded new exclusive originals and local productions being created for the service". It'll be drawing upon Disney's studios, such as Disney Television Studios, FX, 20th Century Studios, 20th Television and Touchstone, and will also feature local programming specific to each region.
In Europe, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and several other markets, Star will be fully integrated into Disney+ and will be accessible as the sixth brand tile in the app.
— Disney (@Disney) December 10, 2020
Star won't feature everything that Hulu does, because plenty of Hulu's series and films pop up elsewhere Down Under — like The Handmaid's Tale, for instance. That said, it's safe to presume that some of the rights deals that deliver Hulu content to other networks and streaming platforms in Australia and New Zealand might change when Star hits, moving where you can catch certain flicks and programs in the process.
When Star launches, it'll also become available in Europe and Canada, both of which already have access to Disney+. The Mouse House will also launch Disney+ including Star in Singapore on the same date, then look to roll out in Eastern Europe, South Korea, Japan and Hong Kong across the rest of 2021.
And, as you might've already guessed, Disney+'s expansion to include Star will come with a price increase. Australian subscriptions will go up to AU$11.99 per month or AU$119.99 per year, while New Zealand's will cost NZ$12.99 per month or AU$129.99 per year.
Star will join Disney+ in Australia and New Zealand on Tuesday, February 23, with Disney+ subscriptions costing AU$11.99 per month or AU$119.99 per year in Australia, and NZ$12.99 per month or AU$129.99 per year in New Zealand, from that date.
Published on December 13, 2020 by Sarah Ward